The next time you receive a prompt on your device asking for permission to use your microphone or camera, remember that not all apps are as legit as they seem.
Some apps are designed to turn your phone into a pocket spy without your knowledge. They would be equipped with ways to use the cameras and microphones, always at the ready to capture compromising moments or sensitive conversations.
For example, back in 2018, it was discovered that over 250 apps across the App Store and Google Play market were secretly listening in on background audio through the microphones on smartphones. This allowed the apps to figure out what you watch or listen to so they could serve up better-targeted advertisements.
There’s also the long-standing conspiracy theory that smartphones are actively eavesdropping on people. While there’s no concrete evidence to support this claim, it’s still a valid concern for many people.
There are a few popular apps that have been known to spy on users. Here are 6 of them:
1. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a popular messaging app with billions of users worldwide. However, recent reports have revealed that the app is not as secure as it claims to be.
It has been found that Facebook can spy on your messages if it wants to. This is because the app doesn’t support end-to-end encryption, which means your messages are not fully protected and can be read by an employee at Meta.
Camscanner is a smartphone app that allows users to scan documents and images. However, recent reports have suggested that the app may be spying on its users.
The app was found to contain malicious code that could allow it to collect sensitive information from users’ devices, according to a report from Kaspersky Lab. The app was also found to be displaying intrusive ads and redirecting users to phishing websites.
3. Weather apps
Your weather app may be spying on you. Many popular weather apps, such as Weather Underground and AccuWeather, collect data about your location, device type and other personal information. This data is then sold to advertisers, who use it to target ads at you.
Some weather apps even track your location in real-time, which allows them to build a detailed profile of your movements and activities.
4. Instagram and Whatsapp
Instagram and Whatsapp can spy on you by accessing your phone’s microphone and camera. They can also access and modify your contact list as well as your system settings.
In addition, the apps can track your location and collect data about your online activity, which can then be used to target you with ads and other unwanted content.
5. Flashlight apps
There are many flashlight apps available for download. But did you know that some of these apps can spy on you? That’s right, some flashlight apps contain malicious code that can be used to track your location, access your camera and microphone, and even collect your data.